13 November 2015

The Joys of Regulation 23

The Jobcentre's powers to compel claimants to do things (useless or not) have limits but they have a nice little trick to get around the regulations.

Let's say you want to put on an information session for 50 jobseekers. Maybe you believe it's a good and useful session and compelling attendance your chosen group of claimants is the right thing to do. Or, more cynically, you know it's a great way to frustrate and inconvenience them into closing their claim. No problem - it works either way!

There's no official way to compel attendance at a Group Information Session - the guidances says:

5.  There is no mandatory requirement for claimants to attend a Group
Information Session and as such DMA action does not apply.  If a claimant
does not attend their Group Information Session their claim must not be

So what a lot of Jobcentres are doing is to issue a letter inviting claimants to the session but which goes on to say that afterwards they'll have an interview with an advisor and threatens that failure to attend the interview could result in loss of JSA.   This is "correct" because the The Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations say:

23. A claimant shall participate in an interview in such manner, time and place
as an employment officer may specify by a notification which is given or sent to the
claimant and which may be in writing, by telephone or by electronic means

What many jobseekers have found (me included) is that there is in fact no interview - just the session which may or may not be useful - and certainly wasn't in my case.

It's time it stopped

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